Vermont House Judiciary Committee Approves Same-Sex Marriage

In Montpelier this morning, Vermont House Judiciary Committee voted 8-2 in favor of approving same-sex marriage in the state. The bill now moves on to the full House for debate Thursday:

"Committee members who voted for the bill were: Eldred French,
D-Shrewsbury; Willem Jewett, D-Ripton; Richard Marek, D-Newfane;
Cynthia Martin, D-Springfield; Kathy Pellett, D-Chester; Heidi
Scheuermann, R-Stowe; Bill Lippert, D-Hinesburg and Maxine Grad,
D-Moretown. Voting against the bill were Peg Flory, R-Pittsford and Andrew Donaghy, R-Poultney. Patti
Komline, R-Dorset, wasn't in committee during the debate or this
morning's vote, though she has said she supports the bill. Before
the vote, the committee added an amendment to the bill to strengthen
protections for religious organizations that choose not to recognize
same-sex marriage, an addition that was tied to Scheuermann's
supporting the bill. The amendment means that the bill will have to
either return to the Senate after the full House's action or go to a
conference committee of representative's from both chambers to work out
the differences."

Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean urged lawmakers to vote in support of the measure, which current Governor Jim Douglas has threatened to veto.


  1. Ben in oakland says

    I hate the tohught of the religious freedom provision being there. It gives creedence to those idiotic claims and is a direct insult to the First Amendment.

    On the other hand, there is no real argument against addressing their idiotic claims in a real world sort of a way. i think fair minded will see that this kind of batshittery has its basis only in prejudice if they continue to bleat that their relgious freedom is in danger.

  2. says

    I agree, Ben–protecting religious freedom is in the title of the bill, as prominently as marriage, and now they’ve added an amendment to strengthen the religious protections that would have been there without any wording! But such are the misunderstandings about the difference between civil and religious marriage and the lingering fears of giving up something to the gays–stupid, but if it gets us a few or even one more House vote towards the 2/3 we now need, then it’s a worthy compromise.

  3. bigjake75 says

    I am not familiar with the bill, but Ihope they can get enough to override. I do however, feel that churches should be allowed to recognize only what they want, as they are private organization. I don’t want approval from the Catholic Church for my life.

  4. Keith says

    I agree… IF adding that language makes it work, then go for it! Actually, it removes any Right-wing concerns that Catholics would have to marry me! Not that I would ask them to, mind you… While we know that our intent is equal rights, not to force an organized religion to perform a sacrament contrary to their beliefs, this should make it clear to any fence-sitters!

  5. says

    Religious freedom is already protected by the Constitutions of the US and Vermont, but they need extra reassurance that we’re not all gonna rush into the Catholic Church and insist that the homophobic priest marry us. It’s just insulting that this has to be both inserted into the law and added to the title of the bill. It really has nothing to do with religious people, but they demand recognition before we can be recognized as equal.

  6. T SMITH says